Suspects in court after random violent attacks in downtown Louisville | News


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Two men charged in separate attacks in downtown Louisville earlier this week were both in court Wednesday, as local businesses struggle with perceptions that the area is unsafe. 

One of the suspects is accused of assaulting a passerby on the street with a hammer, and the other is accused of creeping up behind two victims and cutting their throats. 

Both attacks happened about an hour apart in downtown Louisville during the overnight hours of Oct. 24 and Oct. 25. 

Andrew Hoke, 40, is accused in the hammer attack that happened shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday. That’s when court documents indicate Hoke got out of a gray Toyota Tacoma outside the Brown Theater at 323 West Broadway as a man was walking by and attacked him.

Hoke admitted to hitting the man in the head with the “claw end” of the hammer. Police said Hoke continued to hit the man several times in the head and on various parts of his body. It’s not clear why Hoke attacked the victim, who was hospitalized with head trauma, but court documents indicated Hoke has a long criminal history, including terroristic threatening and stalking.

Hoke pleaded not guilty to first degree assault, and a judge set his bond at $75,000. 

The suspect in the knife attack — 37-year-old Sean Coats — pleaded not guilty to assault and attempted murder. Police say Coats was walking behind two people at 4th Street Live! around 12:01 a.m. Tuesday when he cut their throats. Police said one of the victims is in critical condition, and the other was treated and released.

Coats allegedly told investigators he was coming down from a stimulant high before the attack. His bond was set at $1 million.

The attacks come as Doug Owen, the senior vice president of a commercial real estate company called JLL Properties, says downtown Louisville is making a comeback.

“We’re definitely seeing a lot of people down here, both for business on pleasure,” Owen said, adding that, “I feel like we’re returning to where we were pre-COVID.”

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